Step by step, day by day, country by country, something special is happening in the world of process safety. In chemical engineering hubs around the world, process safety is being taken to new levels led by a network of IChemE members.
There are now nearly 70 chemical engineers enrolled or registered as Professional Process Safety Engineers based at strategic locations on five continents.
They are the vanguard and champions of a long-term IChemE initiative to improve safety and give greater recognition to one of the most important – if the not the most important – discipline in the chemical engineering profession.
Professional Process Safety Engineers are peer reviewed and positioned at the same professional level as Chartered Engineer and Professional Engineer. Successful candidates join a register which is gradually creating a ring of safety around the world.
IChemE’s intention to raise the professional status of process safety was announced in late 2012 and has been introduced in phases over the past 12 months.
The first 70 trailblazing Professional Process Safety Engineers – all volunteers – are nearly in place and will provide a core of registered engineers to mentor and support the growth of the standard over the next few years.
They will complement the work of IChemE’s Safety Centre, which appointed its first director, Trish Kerin, earlier this year and an active programme of events and courses run around the world including Hazards 25, Hazards Asia Pacific and Hazards Australasia.
It’s also worth mentioning the excellent work of the European Process Safety Centre, which is supported by IChemE and based at our head office in Rugby, UK.
Two of the newest Professional Process Safety Engineers are Rod Prior, a consultant based in Gauteng, South Africa, and Dr Kiran Krishna, a principal technical safety engineer at Shell in Houston, USA.
In June, Paul Feltoe, managing director of Safety Solution Ltd in New Zealand, joined the register.
Last year, Mahesh Murthy, a senior process engineer at ConocoPhillips became Australia’s first chemical engineer to achieve the standard.
In Malaysia, the honour went to Sivabhalini Thevendiraraj, principal safety and loss prevention engineer at SBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
In the UK, some of the early adopters included Azzam Younes, senior safety consultant at ABB, Jerry Lane, Optimus’ head of safety, Tayo Olusanya, AMEC’s lead safety engineer, Sumeet Pabby, technical safety technical Authority Europe E&P at BG Group and Martin Holley, Shell’s Aberdeen projects HSSE delivery manager.
I’ll leave the last few words about this excellent initiative to Optimus’ Jerry Lane, who gives a useful insight into the application process and why the initiative is so important.
Jerry said: “The application process was simple and efficient, conducted via the IChemE online portal. The interview process was also straightforward and I received confirmation of my registration very quickly.
“I was thrilled to receive a formal certificate recognising my election to the Register as a Professional Process Safety Engineer.
“I hope that this will encourage others to register and I look forward to contributing as part of the team of assessors who will be reviewing future applications.
“Promoting formal registration will play an important part in maintaining standards of professionalism in our industry which can only help to improve process safety.”